20 February 2010

Hazelnut Truffles

This is a very messy recipe to make--the hazelnuts skins fly everywhere and you get chocolate all over your arms. But then you can lick your arms, if that's your sort of thing. George adapted this recipe from one of the Moosewood Cookbooks, probably the "Celebrates" edition. The truffles were a big hit on Valentine's Day and definitely stand out as some of the best truffles I have ever eaten from anywhere.

1 pound chocolate (half Belgian semi-sweet and half Spanish 68% dark)
3/4 Cup heavy cream
1/4 Cup Frangelico or any hazelnut liqueur (Frangelico is gluten-free)
1 and 1/2 Cup hazelnuts, baked at 375 for 10 minutes and skins mostly rubbed off with a cloth

1. Pulse hazelnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground.
2. At a very gentle temperature in a double boiler melt chocolate in the heavy cream, stirring constantly.
3. When all is melted and has an even consistency, stir in the hazelnut liqueur.
4. Pour equal amounts of the liquid into glass pie plates or other shallow dishes. Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1 to 2 hours until solid.
5. Remove one pie pan at a time from the refrigerator and with a spoon, shave out 3/4 to 1 inch diameter balls of chocolate and form them into sphere with the palms of your hands. This will get very messy, but don't be too fussy about the ball shape or the chocolate will melt.
6. Quickly roll the chocolate balls in the chopped hazelnuts and place them in air tight containers with wax paper or aluminum foil between the layers--space the balls enough apart so that they don't melt together. Makes about 40 truffles. Refrigerate them. Will keep for a week or two and taste best on day 4.

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